Mahan turns up the heat
Woods right in contention thanks to huge eagle putt at the 16th
Last Updated: 30/06/12 10:18am
Hunter Mahan: kept his cool in tough conditions in Maryland to lead by two
Hunter Mahan surged two shots clear at the top of the AT&T National leaderboard with an impressive second round of 65 in Maryland.
The American carded seven birdies in his six-under score to sit ahead of compatriots Jimmy Walker and Robert Garrigus, as well as Zimbabwe's Brendon de Jonge.
Second round leaderboard
(US unless stated)
-7 H Mahan
-5 B De Jonge (Zim)
-5 J Walker
-5 R Garrigus
Click here for collated scores
Behind them on four under is a five-man group that includes Stewart Cink and Vijay Singh, while Tiger Woods carded a much-improved 68 to sit ominously on two under alongside overnight leader Bo Van Pelt.
However no one could keep pace on Friday with Mahan, who kept his cool on the course despite temperatures reaching 109 degrees Fahrenheit.
"When the conditions and the weather comes into play, it's a whole other factor," he told www.pgatour.com.
"I've got to stay mentally tough. Once your mind goes, the body is going to go with it. It's very important to be mentally strong.
"We've got two more days of this, so it's going to be important to take care of yourself every night and every day when you're out on the golf course, or it's going to cost you shots."
"I've got to stay mentally tough. Once your mind goes, the body is going to go with it. It's very important to be mentally strong."
Hunter Mahan Quotes of the week
De Jonge and Walker both signed for 69s while Garrigus fired a 67, his sixth straight sub-par round at Congressional after breaking par on all four days of last year's US Open at the same venue.
Woods, meanwhile, moved himself into contention thanks to a 48-foot eagle putt on the 16th hole, taking him under par for the first time all week.
"It's just one of those days where you just stay patient," he told www.pgatour.com.
"You shoot something in the 60s, and I think that would have been a good score. I thought it was a very good score. I'm right there."
Van Pelt hit a disappointing second round of 73, including six bogeys, while defending champion Nick Watney was on one over. England's Greg Owen is on three over, the same mark as Beau Hossler, the 17-year-old amateur who made headlines at the recent US Open.
The cut was set at six over, the highest score at a regular PGA Tour event since The Barclays back in 2009. It was also one shot higher than at the 2011 US Open.